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Magma - mhnthtt-R CD (album) cover





4.20 | 484 ratings

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4 stars Magma occupies a space in the spheres of music that is totally unique. No other band sounds like them and the genre they created, zeuhl, is not for everyone. I am not saying that to scare people off but it is true. As in most cases regarding the more extreme sounds in music there is a somewhat limited fan base, as opposed to more easily digested ones. Having said that I would also like to state that Magma has so much to offer to those who dare venture into and explore this dark and foreboding landscape.

mhnthtt-R is an album released by this longlived band 39 years after their debut. There are many examples of bands that over such a long period of time (in this case also a disbandenment/hiatus) fail to reproduce the splendour and majesty of past glory but Magma does the opposite. Alot is very much the same as it has always been. The chanting is there, the vocals sung in Kobaan, the heavy distorted bass, Vanders exquisite drumming and so forth. All that is pretty much identical to the classic stuff but the material is just as brilliant as ever, something one might have expected to be otherwise. mhnthtt-R is a very intense album. Now, that's not a shocking statement when speaking of Magma, I know. But it is. Intense, powerful, dark and overwhelming. The four piece suite that occupies most of the album is a stunning piece(s) of music. It attacks you and sucks you in like a monstrous vampire and stuck inside the belly of the beast you stand in awe and amazement. It is, to put it mildly, a stunning experience.

There is no point in dissecting the pieces on this album. Just listen to it and you'll be alright. However, I must emphasize that "mhnthtt-R II" and "mhnthtt-R III" are my favorites on the album. The 2nd piece is the longest, 22 minutes in length, and offers a great variety. It is also my absolute favorite on the album. The 3rd piece with its 13 minutes the most hard rocking and intense of the pieces. It reminds me alot of the song "Mekanik kommandh"from MDK in regards to intensity and power. It's like the band is barely able to contain the massive amount of energy produced. I get the feeling that they are about to explode. What is there to say? Brilliant? Well, yes.

The material on the album was not entirely new back in 2009. It is made up of bits and pieces played live over the years but it has never, as far as I understand, been recorded in the studio, at least not in this grand and fullfilled way. I think this is just as good as anything the band ever made. MDK may be the absolute pinnacle but this is not far off. It fills me with such emotion, joy and exuberation that I am about to shoot off into space, never to return. Fueled by the energy from the album I could sail off to the farthest corner of the universe and still have it in me to go back to Earth. It's that good.

Is mhnthtt-R a good place to start if one is new to Magma? Yes, I suppose so but there are other albums just as apt to begin with. I do think however that you can't go wrong with this one. The power and the glory is all there. Go for it, why don't you?

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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